Dirge

I am rapt with attention. I am hitting the refresh button again and again. There is a kind of fascination, a fixation; it is a car crash in slow motion, taking place in front of millions. Even my apathetic hipster friends are overcome by it. We text message one another about warm fronts. A nation of amateur weathermen. A nation of rubberneckers. No one is immune. The Siren call of the hurricane was not intended to bring the prey to her, but rather an invitation to be a voyeur as the giant stumbled her last steps through the Mississippi Delta. I am still dumbstruck by the photographs. Entire neighborhoods are a collage of construction materials and beloved possessions, the abstract artistic piece de la resistance of a particularly avant-garde god.

I am beside myself when I turn on the radio or find a news website. The woman crying on an island hillhock beside the still-warm body of her husband; the blank face of the man trying to disbelieve the Hiroshima landscape that occupies the spot of his neighborhood. Both people are residents of the wealthiest nation on Earth. Wealthier than the rest of the nations in the top ten put together. They will eat a military ration for dinner tonight if they are lucky. Tonight they will sleep on a cot in a football stadium-cum-refugee camp if they are lucky.

It is black comedy now to look at the guarantees of disaster in National Geographic, in Popular Science, on the websites of New Orleans newspapers. New Orleans would be completely inundated by a hurricane. We buy the magazines and we duly acknowledge the inevitable disaster. But nothing is done. The man on the radio says that all of this was our fault, because we saw it coming. A nation complicit.

Why are we compelled to build in these places again and again? A million dollar house on Cape Hatteras, an art museum on a cliff in Southern California, a riverboat casino at the mouth of the Mississippi River where it kisses the Gulf of Mexico. All of them await the next hurricane or landslide or flood. Our American culture has embraced disposability to its fullest extent. This week we threw away a hundred million beer cans, ten million empty gallons of milk and one historic city. We will build it again. We will make newer and better levees. We will spend millions on machine panaceas and brilliant engineers to buttress our stubbornness. We will shake hands for the cameras and cut ribbons. We will help our own city to start over. The Gulf of Mexico will continue to make hurricanes. Cliffs in California will continue to fall. The Mississippi River will continue to callously run over its banks. We will learn nothing. We will push the ball to the top and watch it roll down the other side. A nation of Sisyphusians.

The man on the television lives in the richest country on Earth. He is hip deep in brown water, towing on an air mattress his mother who floats past a half-submerged SUV. He has been in the water for three days. I am writing the Red Cross a check, and I only get angrier as I do it. I don't know who to be angry with.

Sorry I didn't talk about games this time.

Comments

I'm angry too, man...

Thanks, Sanjuro. Glad to see that the rage has spread beyond New Orleans natives... and found its way into such capable hands.

Tens of thousands of people are still running out of time. Many more people could die. Help needs to arrive much much faster, and it's our federal government's fault. It's a national disgrace of the greatest magnitude and only a few members of Congress are in Washington.

I wrote my Senators and Representatives to plead for help.

http://www.senate.gov/general/contac...

http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW...

This was one of those disasters that pierce through the carefully constructed wall of cynicism and been-there-seen-that like a hot knife through some very hot butter. At which point we start looking for someone to point fingers at.

Who are we going to blame? The first settler to build his shack in the valley of New Orleans? The mayor/governor allowing Mr. Millionaire to build his mansion next to thousands of other Mr. and Mrs. Gazillionaire? Should (s)he have asked to move to higher ground? Are we all responsible, you know with the environment and all, and hurricanes like this happening more and more often?

I'm not saying there is no human responsability here. Money went to National Security after 9-11 instead of building higher dams, soldiers went to Iraq to fight opponents equally invisible as the wind. Which seemed higher priority at the time. Not only for politicians. Politicians mostly think short-term and go-with-the-flow. Which is exactly why we elect them.

This may seem arrogant from an outsider European/Belgian, to opinionate about events "far far away". But all I'm trying to say is sometimes no-one is really responsible. Or we all are.

Sanjuro wrote:

I don't know who to be angry with.

Well put.

I know how you feel, Sanjuro. I spoke to my Dad at great length yesterday, and for once he said something that gave me some measure of comfort: he told me that I'm going to feel helpless. I'll wish I could do more, but I'm going to know that I can't, and that's going to make me feel even more helpless. I'm going to feel powerless to assauge the grief that our lodgers will face (Drunkensleipnir's family is coming to stay with us for awhile), and there's not anything I can do about it and that's going to make me angry too. But I have to stay calm and I have to stay collected, because if I don't - who will? You can't put the burden of remaining calm on the people who have just experienced the worst devastation of their lives; that's just not fair to them. Sobering words, but they were somehow comforting. He knew just what to say to me, I guess - the benefit of being a dad.

I've only been to New Orleans three times in my life, for a grand total of about two weeks. And yet, watching these flooded streets, I feel like I've lost a close friend. There's a Big Bad Voodoo Daddy song that croons, "I consider myself lucky to have fallen in love/ with the music, the city, and the river of mud" (Save my Soul), and it echoes in the back of my head like your aforementioned dirge. To know New Orleans is to fall deeply in love, and love means acceptance of faults, and New Orleans is one hell of a faulty city. But it makes you love it all the more. I can't even imagine the trauma that residents must be feeling right now, if the devastation of a city in which I've spent only a few weeks makes me ache like this.

This isn't to say that what's happened in Alabama and Mississippi and Florida is somehow less heartbreaking. In many ways its more so. It's just that the destruction of New Orleans hits closer to home with me. I've eaten beignets there. I kissed my boyfriend in Jackson Square. I got assaulted by pigeons in the Quarter. I hate seeing the refugees, the canals, the broken shops, the fallen trees - but like you, Sanjuro, I can't help myself but look. I think it's somehow cathartic: to see these images and watch these videos is to acknowledge that its really happening, and that your grief, horror, shock, whatever - that's real too. And I need to know that its not just me who feels this way about a city she barely knows, about people she's never met. I need to acknowledge that my heart is not breaking alone.

I know that the city will be rebuilt, but not nearly soon enough, and it will never be completely the same again. But fortunately, New Orleans is a city of scrappy, fierce survivors. They will perservere. They'll absorb this tragedy, and it will become part of the local history and traditions, right next to the voodoo queens and statues of Pirate Lafitte. It will become just part of the New Orleans tableau. I don't think we need to have any jazz funerals for the city just yet.

Digital Globe's Before and After pics.

It's interesting how two different areas react to disasters differently. After 9/11 Guilliani went out to the buildings and nearly died when one collapsed. He made eloquent speeches and inspired people.

The mayor of New Orleans is huddled in a radio station begging George Bush to save him.

Police officers in New York ran into the twin towers facing certain death, while many New Orleans police officers are turning in their badges because they don't want to face armed looters.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050902/...

"To make matters worse, the chief of the Louisiana State Police said he heard of numerous instances of New Orleans police officers "” many of whom from flooded areas "” turning in their badges.

"They indicated that they had lost everything and didn't feel that it was worth them going back to take fire from looters and losing their lives," Col. Henry Whitehorn said."

This was interesting:

Tourist Debbie Durso of Washington, Mich., said she asked a police officer for assistance and his response was, "'Go to hell "” it's every man for himself.'"

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050902/...

I'm sure in the end, everything will be George Bush's fault. But clearly, Louisiana was incapable of resolving a known problem. They knew they had a problem with the levees, and when they couldn't get complete federal funding for the project, they just ignored it. I was in New Orleans two years ago, and it was commonly known that the city would flood. I believe if Louisiana had true leadership to begin with, those levees would have been built, and the looting would not have gotten out of hand. Oh well...

Lawyeron, I think that's a very unfair comparison. 9/11 was an attack by terrorists on our own soil. Patriotism alone would rally people together to face the destruction. We had an idea of who did it, we had an idea of who to hate, and we knew who to get mad at. Hurricane Katrina was an attack by nature, how do you defend and rally against an act of nature? It's nobody's fault that a hurricane hit. There's no enemy to bond against. There's no one to channel your anger toward, except, perhaps, God - and God doesn't typically shoot back.

In my mind, you're comparing apples and oranges. And to say that the mayor of New Orleans is somehow less of a leader because he is huddled in a radio station, pleading for the President of the United States to save his people and his beloved city ... I think that's just cruel. We all react to disaster differently, and I'm not sure I'd be able to contain my rage and sorrow either if I were in Mr. Nagin's posistion. Besides, what else can he do? He can't swim out there and plug the levees with his thumb. He can't communicate with his residents, because there's no radio, no TV, no power, nothing - no way to talk to them. He can't airdrop food into the Superdome, although I know that he wishes he could. He is helpless, like we all are. And he's pissed about it.

I don't think it's productive to compare the two incidents. The damage in New York was in a reasonably small area compared to that in New Orleans. Two commercial buildings were lost in New York. New Orleans has lost commercial buildings and homes.

The amount of people affected and they way in which they are affected is different.

Lawyeron, I think that's a very unfair comparison. 9/11 was an attack by terrorists on our own soil.

No one knew it was a terrorist attack until much later. But I agree the situations were a bit different, mostly because New Yorkers did not begin looting and shooting at aid workers.

Besides, what else can he do?

Nothing. The time for preparation has passed. But he is not helping anything by his actions. He is a leader of the city and people are going to pick up on his tone. That's not going to make the coming work any easier.

I think trying to fix blame in this case is useless. No one (and I mean NO ONE) was ready for the level of violence that is going on in that city right now. Order is going to have to be restored before people are start receiving serious and continuous aid.

New Yorkers didn't have to begin shooting at aid workers; the majority of New Yorkers were safe.
Remember, it was in localised damage in NY.

Also, we don't know why people are shooting at aid workers. Are they doing because they've got people that need rescuing too? "Don't you dare forget about us"? Or is because there's some money to be gained from it; controlling supplies and aid?

Remember, it was in localised damage in NY.

Sir, I REMEMBER. Please don't imply that I would forget.

Also, we don't know why people are shooting at aid workers. Are they doing because they've got people that need rescuing too? "Don't you dare forget about us"? Or is because there's some money to be gained from it; controlling supplies and aid?

Are any of those good reasons to shoot at people trying to help you? Are there ANY good reasons to shoot at people trying to help you?

Sure you can find differences between any two incidents.

I'm talking about walking into a flaming building when one has already collapsed verses getting into a Swamp Boat and controlling the looting. Both dangerous situations. I'm just pointing out how the governments reacted differently is all.

And Katerin, I'm not sure what you're talking about. You say that only hate and anger will bring this country together. I respectfully disagree. People will rally around this weekend and contribute lots of money because we care.

The people that are out there on the swamp boats rescuing people are civilians. The doctors and nurses that stayed behind to care for the sick are civilians. One hospital had its orderlies stand outside with guns because the police were no where to be seen. I heard tell of a civilian rescuer who was told by one police officer to stop rescuing people and was offered assistance by another. One tv reporter begged a police officer to direct the people on a bridge to safety, and the officer just shrugged and walked away.

I'm not saying the Mayor should be pumping water out of New Orleans any more then I expected Guilliani to pull out a sledgehammer at Ground Zero. I'm just saying I'd like to see some strength and leadership in dangerous situations from our community leaders and not whining and complaining. Yes, people do react differently, that's the difference between greatness and mediocrity.

You can read this editorial to get a flavor for what I'm talking about so you don't think I'm a crazy person:

http://apnews.myway.com/article/2005...

Hey, I live close to Atlanta and it's not much better here. When that nutcase was running around the Courthouse with a gun it was like the Keystone cops. I have no confidence that Georgia Police Officers would perform any better than New Orleans. I've just developed a greater respect for New York cops.

This is a wake up call for the all of our communities. If disaster or a terrorist strike occurs, is your community prepared, or will it be like New Orleans where one cop aptly stated: "It's every man for himself"

One thing we all should be taking away from this disaster is that our government cannot be counted on to protect its citizens from destruction on this scale. I can picture myself in the situation people are in, humbly and meekly waiting for food and drinkable water to be delivered, and only realizing that I should have just started walking out of the area when it is too late to make it. I live 300 miles from New York City, but if I knew the only hope my family had of surviving was to get to NYC, and I didn't have a car, I would start walking there immediately. I have always trusted that "getting out" would not ever be the only way of surviving in this country; until now. I have always trusted that the local, state, or federal government would be there to protect the citizenry; until now. This whole experience has shown me that when things get really bad, I will not be expecting the government to help in any way, and that makes me sadder than I expected it would. This is just a disgrace.

You can point fingers at so many things leading up to this disaster in New Orleans that it's completely pointless. However, I agree with Lawyeron's comments in that there is a glaring and distinct lack of leadership in the NO aftermath that is only makes the situation far worse than it might have been, from FEMA to the mayor to police officers and beyond. And as a homeland security test for preparedness in dealing with a catastrophic event, it is an appalling disaster.

JimmDogg wrote:
Remember, it was in localised damage in NY.

Sir, I REMEMBER. Please don't imply that I would forget.

Also, we don't know why people are shooting at aid workers. Are they doing because they've got people that need rescuing too? "Don't you dare forget about us"? Or is because there's some money to be gained from it; controlling supplies and aid?

Are any of those good reasons to shoot at people trying to help you? Are there ANY good reasons to shoot at people trying to help you?

For some reason I thought your posts was Lawyeron's, which is why I reiterated the local damage point.

Incidentally there's no need to call me Sir, nor to use capital letters. It's a bit like Terry Prattchet said: if someone starts a sentence to you with "My friend," you can be sure he isn't.

As for your second point, I was trying show that was no immediate reason/justification for people in NY to start shooting at aid workers. I wasn't commeting on any whether shooting at aid workers were good or bad.

Through all of this news coverage, I've thought one thing most of the time: Where's the leadership? *Nobody* has stepped up and been a beacon to these destitute people. As a result, we on the outside have no idea what's actually being done in the relief efforts. All we see are clips of starving and dead people with no help in sight. If there was somebody who stood up, got on camera, and said "Here's what we've done, here's what we're doing now, and here's what we're going to do" then it would help immensely. Because this isn't happening, those of us on the outside can't help but feel even more helpless, wanting to do anything we can for these people but seeing no vehicle to do so.

On 9/11 I lived a mile from the Pentagon. When I heard it all go down, I got the hell out of there as soon as I could. Never count on the authorities for anything.

Sanj, I think you speak for many of us. I don't really have anything to contribute to the discussion...just sad, shocked and frustrated. Thank God that they're finally moving supply convoys into the city.

Well put, Sanjuro.

The sad irony off all of this is that it gets politicized while people continue to die all over the Gulf coast. There will be plenty of time for commissions and hearings when this is all said and done. The harsh reality is that the U.S. has shown, with catastrophic clarity, they we are completely unprepared to respond to a mass casualty incident. Despite multiple years of warnings and drills, despite numerous government agencies and a galaxy of talk, we're woefully lost. 72 hours to mount a full scale rescue operation is unacceptable by any measure.

Watching a mother standing in a US city holding up a child that hasn't eaten in 3 days is more than I can take.

baggachipz wrote:

Where's the leadership?

At least one of the problems in New Orleans is that given the wide-spread lack of power, there's just no way to have someone step forward and start leading. I've heard stories where the folks trying to repair the cell phone towers are being given satellite phones so that they can coordinate, for example.

Going back to the (poor) analogy with 9/11, pretty much that entire day I had a live internet feed of WNYC's (the local NPR affiliate) news coverage. Naturally there was a loss of a great deal of the actual broadcast ability from the city, as many radio and TV stations used antennas on the towers, but there was no widespread power loss and nothing worse than spotty cell-phone outages (due to overloading). In effect, it was still straigtforward enough to get information out to pretty much everyone in the city. Nothing like this is available in New Orleans.

I'd also like to note that the devistation of (and devistating behavior in) New Orleans is mostly preventing us from hearing about the folks who were directly in Katrina's path -- you know, the usual stuff that happens when hurricanes landfall. I'm afraid that they may be being overlooked by FEMA and charities as they aren't visible enough. I'm hoping I'm wrong here, though.

I have no confidence that Georgia Police Officers would perform any better than New Orleans. I've just developed a greater respect for New York cops.

I would not put your respect on the NYPD Lawyeron.. the Transit Police and the FDNY took the brunt of the pain in the 9-11 attacks. I believe the NYPD itself lost 3 officers while the FDNY lost hundreds. It was the Transit Police (it was their jurisdiction) and the FDNY who were running into burning buildings trying to save people.

And I hate to say it, but if NYC was flooded and lootings were going on I would guess that half of the NYPD sub-urbanites would turn in their badges too.

Watching the news has been unbearable. I can't believe this is happening in my country. Four days after the event, and we're seeing American babies die on network television because the feds cut the funding to Louisiana's disaster relief by 80%, and took the National Guard and it's high water equipment off to the desert of Iraq. As long as I live, I will have nightmares from watching an American mother hold her infant, saying "He just doesn't want to wake up. Why won't he wake up?" Children going into to diabetic comas, old people, dead in their wheelchairs, clutching notes so their next of kin knows what happened to them. Children being raped, men and women being murdered for a liter of water...all that's all stuff happening at the places where the people were *told* to go.

Four days, and they can't get water and food in to the people at the convention center? That's just madness. The looters, the devastation, the sheer third world of the entire situation is just heartbreaking. I want so much to do something. Drive down and rescue people, bring them water, diapers, something, anything...rather than being a spectator to their slow and agonizing deaths. I've never felt more helpless in my entire life.

Heartbreaking report from the Convention Center from "Bigfoot" - a bar manager, Bourbon St. DJ and local icon via The Interdictor

Three days ago, police and national guard troops told citizens to head toward the Crescent City Connection Bridge to await transportation out of the area. The citizens trekked over to the Convention Center and waited for the buses which they were told would take them to Houston or Alabama or somewhere else, out of this area.

It's been 3 days, and the buses have yet to appear.

Although obviously he has no exact count, he estimates more than 10,000 people are packed into and around and outside the convention center still waiting for the buses. They had no food, no water, and no medicine for the last three days, until today, when the National Guard drove over the bridge above them, and tossed out supplies over the side crashing down to the ground below. Much of the supplies were destroyed from the drop. Many people tried to catch the supplies to protect them before they hit the ground. Some offered to walk all the way around up the bridge and bring the supplies down, but any attempt to approach the police or national guard resulted in weapons being aimed at them.

There are many infants and elderly people among them, as well as many people who were injured jumping out of windows to escape flood water and the like -- all of them in dire straights.

Any attempt to flag down police results in being told to get away at gunpoint. Hour after hour they watch buses pass by filled with people from other areas. Tensions are very high, and there has been at least one murder and several fights. 8 or 9 dead people have been stored in a freezer in the area, and 2 of these dead people are kids.

The people are so desperate that they're doing anything they can think of to impress the authorities enough to bring some buses. These things include standing in single file lines with the elderly in front, women and children next; sweeping up the area and cleaning the windows and anything else that would show the people are not barbarians.

The buses never stop.

I'm angry too, Sanj. Except, I pretty much know where my anger is directed.

I'm angry too, Sanj. Except, I pretty much know where my anger is directed.

its a national disgrace..

having to watch Bush put on a charade in front of live camera's on CNN this AM was a HUGE JOKE!! I've never been so embarrased in my life..

watching Bush and the various Governors and some other officials stand around some sort of "maps" and each person stand up and "brief" the president in front of the media was PATHETIC!! It made me nasuous to watch!

Listening to Bush I swear.. I wanted to physically beat the crap out of him..to use such a moment to put on a PR event was sickening..

If not for CNN's coverage of these poor people I question if even now as finally conveys are starting to roll in... would they have simply let these people die quietly?

Lawyeron wrote:

Police officers in New York ran into the twin towers facing certain death, while many New Orleans police officers are turning in their badges because they don't want to face armed looters.

CNN quoted one police officer as saying that many NOPD had drowned trying to save people. There are many many police officers who have been doing the best they can in a hopeless sitution that has gone on for DAYS.

Yes some police have turned in their badges, but can you really blame them after 48-60+ hours with no communication, support or relief. And lets not forget, that many of those officers had no way of knowing how or where their families were.

To contrast this with the brave men in blue from NY and find the NO police somehow lacking is not fair. Had the NY police had to deal with a life or death situation for 5 days with no help, all the while worrying about the safety of their loved ones, I would hazzard a guess that a fair number of them would have walked away too.

My feeling is that for all the leadership that was evident at every turn during 9/11 - from the mayor, the governor, the legislature, and yes, much as I hate to admit it, the President - we have exactly zero leadership from all of those corners in this disgrace. We are, apparently, as a nation, cities, and states, completely overwhelmed as much by the disaster as by those who are embracing it for chaos and violence. Having lived a significant portion of my life in Louisiana, in Baton Rouge, in Shreveport, and other cities, I can say without doubt that there is decades of corruption and incompetence that is bubbling now to the surface as much as the bodies and debris.

But where is the leadership from our president? Where is the leadership from our congress? Where is the leadership from any of our "leaders". There are promises, and hollow speeches without action, and meanwhile the poorest of the poor, the shame of our national excess swim and drown in sh*t and death.

And there is no comparison between 9/11 and Katrina. None at all. Ignore anyone who tries to draw one, particularly for any political motivation.

GameGuru wrote:

If not for CNN's coverage of these poor people I question if even now as finally conveys are starting to roll in... would they have simply let these people die quietly?

They did after hurricane Andrew tore up Miami-Dade's poor regions and non-government people (including reporters) were kept out for days on end. I don't doubt they would've here, too, had it not been for the fact that so many reporters and such were on-site to continue showing how horrible it is.

Lawyeron wrote:

Police officers in New York ran into the twin towers facing certain death, while many New Orleans police officers are turning in their badges because they don't want to face armed looters.

I'm glad you qualified this statement later on, Lawyeron, because I was on the verge of getting myself banned from posting anymore by Certis and/or Elysium. My uncle is one of those policemen, and the last time we heard from him was Tuesday afternoon. At that time he'd already been on duty for around 24-36 hours. By now, it's been an additional, what, 72 hours? And the cops have had no food, no water, little to no sleep, and nothing in any form of supplies until yesterday or today when they were able to finally get some reinforcements from the feds yesterday.

Would New York's police officers kept running into burning building after burning building for days on end, facing more and more unrest until people started shooting at them as they tried to get into more burning buildings to save people? These officers have been trying to rescue people and keep order for days without basic necessities for themselves OR backup, and you're all but saying they're losers or cowards when their resolve breaks? f*ck that. f*ck that.

They're just human beings, the same as any of the rest of us. Only difference is, they stayed when they knew full well just how bad it was probably going to be, and they've spent DAYS saving lives in god-awful conditions only to find themselves targetted by the very people they're trying to help. I'd be hard-pressed to keep going by that point too!

Any of you who are blaming the cops or thinking ill of some of them for caving in to exhaustion and emotional breakdown, I'd like you to tell me that you could live through the exact same hell they have and come out smiling like everything's all rosy and not want to just leave and see if your family's ok.

I may never see my uncle or cousin again, we don't know if they're ok, and you know why? Because they stayed. They stayed when anyone with the sense and capability left. And they chose to stay. And I admire them for doing so.

Anyone want to talk ill of them? Fine. I hope to give you the opportunity someday to speak ill of them to their face.

At least one of the problems in New Orleans is that given the wide-spread lack of power, there's just no way to have someone step forward and start leading.

Precisely. I wouldn't worry too much about Nagin's statements hurting the NO public's morale because they are too busy trying to stay alive. Comparing 9/11 to this is absurd. Give Juliani, the NYPD, and FDNY the task of keeping even just Manhattan Island in order without being able to communicate and see how successful they are. Deva's link to the Interdictor blog is worth the time; I've been reading it for the past two days, and it provides some real insight. Heard the Prez was flying into Mobile this morning and my first thought was, "Hmph! Only about 2 days too late." At this point, it's just too little, too late. His words ring hollow.

We're keeping holed up in the house for as long as we can in order to conserve fuel because of the distribution crisis, (and so that it can get into the hands of folks that need it far worse than we do) hoping against hope that things begin to shake out over the next week or two. I feel incredibly lucky and more than a little guilty that we are able to do it in comfort and safety while others are dying in the heat.

If not for CNN's coverage of these poor people I question if even now as finally conveys are starting to roll in... would they have simply let these people die quietly?

I've caught myself wondering the same thing.

buzzvang wrote:
If not for CNN's coverage of these poor people I question if even now as finally conveys are starting to roll in... would they have simply let these people die quietly?

I've caught myself wondering the same thing.

They would have and tried to pull the same crap with Andrew. If it wasn't for someone (head of FEMA at the time I think) going onto Larry King and saying "Um, guys, WTF? Where the hell are you?" I am pretty sure the majority of Homestead would be dead.

And there is no comparison between 9/11 and Katrina. None at all. Ignore anyone who tries to draw one, particularly for any political motivation.

I can't wait to start hearing the bull start blowing from our president after he finishes his tour of the area. Once things start getting taken care of and things start turning around I'll bet he'll be talking up press conferences with references to the brave men and women who worked to make things right there just like the brave men and women of the 9/11 attacks during which his administration was in office.

Though I think he's finally said one thing that I could agree with when he said the results of the relief effort weren't good enough.